Cave diver doctor's family loss

His father died just hours after he completed his Thai rescue mission

Tragedy has struck the Australian doctor at the heart of the rescue of a young Thai soccer team with the death of his father, a former Adelaide surgeon, soon after his mission was completed.

Adelaide anaesthetist and underwater cave explorer Richard 'Harry' Harris made the treacherous journey to the underground chamber where the group of 13 had been trapped for two weeks.

But as the rescue was completed on Tuesday, Dr Harris' father passed away, his boss and MedSTAR clinical director Andrew Pearce said.

"It is with great sadness that I confirm that Harry's dad passed away last night a short time after the successful rescue operation in Thailand," Dr Pearce said in a statement on Wednesday.

The doctor’s father, Jim Harris,  was a renowned former vascular surgeon and senior consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide.

Dr Harris junior was described as "essential" to the